Bandits fall in flurry of punches, goals, 5-1 Carolina fights way from 0-12 winless skid

teams meet again tonight

November 22, 1996|By Scott Michaux | Scott Michaux,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Carolina Monarchs have been saying that they needed to fight their way out of their winless streak, and last night they did just that.

The Monarchs tied a season-high in scoring and set a season standard for fighting in a 5-1 victory over the Bandits at the Greensboro Coliseum. The victory ended the Monarchs' franchise-record 12-game winless streak.

"I can't even express how good we feel right now," said Monarchs wing Craig Martin, who scored his first goal of the season and set off a third-period skirmish with the first of four fights in a late two-minute stretch. "to finally get it and get it convincingly, hopefully the guys know what it takes now to go out and beat people."

The Monarchs never gave the Bandits a chance to turn the tide, extending a 1-0 lead after the first period to 4-0 midway through the second on goals by Gilbert Dionne, Steve Washburn and Trevor Doyle.

"They were hungrier than we were and they wanted to end their losing streak," said Bandits coach Moe Mantha, who attributed the late sparring as the trappings of a divisional rivalry.

The Monarchs picked a good night to snap out of it. Florida Panthers general manager Bryan Murray and three other Panthers officials were on hand to check on their prospects.

With the game in hand, things got a little out of hand in the final minutes. The Mid-Atlantic Division rivals have played four times already this month with another match set for tonight.

Familiarity bred contempt, as players sparked five separate fights and the teams combined for 84 penalty minutes in the final period alone.

After Martin's fisticuffs with Pete LeBoutillier at the 13: 05 mark, things started to heat up. When Podollan checked Keith Aldridge hard into the boards, it got ugly.

Byron Briske stepped in to fight Podollan, and received a flurry of punches to the head for his efforts. Aldridge skated across the ice to take on Washburn, who floored him with a series of punches. The crowd of 3,070 cheered wildly.

Not to be outdone, Doyle and Chris Herperger jumped each other 20 seconds later and the Bandits again got the worst of it as Doyle dropped his opponent.

Aldridge, Briske and Washburn each drew game misconducts.

Pub Date: 11/22/96

Bandits tonight

Opponent: Carolina Monarchs

Site: Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum

Time: 7: 05

Radio: WWLG (1360 AM), WASA (1330 AM)

Outlook: Not that they were thinking negatively about their now ended winless streak of 12 games (0-11-1), but the Monarchs uncover the longest winless streak in AHL history: 0-22-1 by the 1962-63 Pittsburgh Hornets.

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